AceShowbiz - Singer Sinead O'Connor has no regrets about tearing up a photo of Pope John Paul II on live TV back in 1992, insisting the career backlash was actually a "blessing".
The Irish star infamously made headlines following her performance on U.S. comedy show "Saturday Night Live", when she ripped up a picture of the then-leader of the Catholic church to protest organisation officials' attempts to cover up decades of child sexual abuse.
The stunt prompted calls to boycott her music, and she was even booed offstage at a Bob Dylan tribute concert just weeks after the controversial appearance.
O'Connor admits it was perhaps the first time a celebrity had been "cancelled", as her CDs were literally steamrolled in the streets with bulldozers.
"I'm probably the first one that everybody went, 'OK, that b**ch is not having a career'," she admitted on U.S. breakfast show "Today".
However, O'Connor, who has since converted to Islam and is also known as Shuhada' Sadaqat, claims the controversy actually freed her from having to live up to the expectations of typical pop stars.
"It was a blessing because I had to make my living doing the thing I loved doing, which was making music live," she shared.
The TV stunt was also a chance for O'Connor to take out some of her anger on her late mother, who she claims had abused her for years as a child.
"That picture [of the Pope] I took off my mother's bedroom walls," she added. "It was a way of ripping her up as well, I guess..."
It's a sentiment she explains in further detail in her new memoir, "Rememberings".
She writes, "My intention had always been to destroy my mother's photo of the pope [sic]. It represented lies and liars and abuse. The type of people who kept these things were devils like my mother..."
O'Connor kept hold of the picture for years, until she found the perfect time to make use of it, "I never knew when or where or how I would destroy it, but destroy it I would when the right moment came...," she continues.
"Everyone wants a pop star, see? But I am a protest singer. I just had stuff to get off my chest. I had no desire for fame."